Time for football to do the talking

 The team lacked drive, creativity and were lacklustre in their general approach.

This line could have been used in the majority of our games so far in 2012. I used it for the first half of the Villa cup game. The last two games have personified that one line I wrote weeks ago to the point of breaking.

The general confidence on the run up to the Milan game worried me greatly. Milan are flying in Serie A, they have a cast of names that deserve to be top of a league and they have been rebuilt and reinvigorated over the last two years. And for those that didn’t know, well they know now. Yes we were f*cking hopeless. I was embarrassed that my team were on national TV putting in that kind of performance. I didn’t want to watch but I had too. There are way too many holes to pick out of that performance for a single blog. We were simply dreadful.

I was happy Le boss didn’t try to create some sort of excuse or reason behind the poor performance. He was clearly as disgusted and agreed we were well beaten all over the pitch.

The manager and players were angry, embarrassed and disappointed and talked up a reaction at Sunderland in the cup. Well if that’s a true reaction then we might as well get the white flags out now. Guess what the team lacked drive, creativity and, yep that’s right, they were lacklustre in their general approach. My gut feel was that we would get knocked out once Henry scored the winner a week earlier. I felt that with a week off, Sunderland would react stronger to make amends.

The fact is they didn’t come out all guns blazing at all, if anything we had more of the ball for the first half but struggled to create anything. As usual we were the makers of our own downfall, Djourou embarrassingly brought down their player, a soft freekick not properly cleared and the shot cannoned in of our player into our net. In the second half, much of the same… pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass … give the ball away.

We never looked like scoring and in the end our tired legs exposed on the break and poor AOC conceded an own goal.

The board, Wenger, the 71 players on our payroll…. They say form is temporary but class is permanent, well it is seriously time to react now. This Sunday’s game is the biggest game in our recent history. Win and stay 4th.. lose… losing isn’t an option worth thinking about.

I am wound up, I am embarrassed, I want change but I want what’s best for my club. I only have one football club and while I and my Arsenal are in existence, I will always get behind them and fully support them from the bottom of my heart. Go on strike? Bin bags? Boo the team? Not me, my love is completely and utterly blind.

Bring on Sunday.

Come on The Arsenal!!!


Comments welcome – @Tottz82

  • prime

    i will boo the team if they lost or draw

  • Aussie Gooner Dave

    Fundamental and radical change is needed. A complete overhaul from the board to the bootroom is essential.
    As a fan that cried as a 5 year old boy when Allan Clarke scored the winner in the 1972 Cup Final for Leeds, I believe I have a right to voice my opinion. Never in the 40 years that I have been supporting this club have I ever felt so pessimistic about our future. Whether Arsene stays or leaves, changes need to be made.

  • fenno1

    just hope we dont get thumped.

  • fenno1

    otherwise wenger has had it & i really don’t want it to come to that,

  • Tottz

    Prime: will boo the team if they lost or draw

    Are you going to the game?

  • afc4life

    We need a BIG reaction on Sunday.
    We need a BIG game from the team.
    Remember Chelsea AWAY!? 5-3.

    We can win if we want to!

  • terrencetg

    Afternoon Chaps…So much to say but at this moment i’ve reached stage 5 in the 5 stages of grief so can’t really or don’t have the energy to go off on one. How about you guys? What stage are you all at? Btw for those that arn’t sure the 5 stages of grief are.. 1-Denial 2-Anger 3-Compromise 4-Depression 5-Acceptance. What I will say, and I said months ago, is Ivan the terrible and Edelman BOTH received nearly £1,000,000 bonus EACH. FOR WHAT? This is unheard of in AFC history and these extortionate amounts being paid to board members has only happend since the Yank became major shareholder. WHAT IS GOING ON? Finally did you know when AW First came players were mostly on around £10-£15k pw. AW got them to play by offering massive bonuses related to WINNING. Yeah can you believe it? Players got paid more only for actually winning trophies – amazing eh oh and btw they did win quite often in those halcyon first 7 years. This all changed after 05-06 when he (AW) thought he had the next batch of superkids and the only way to keep them was pay them £40-£50-£60k pw to bench warm. As it transpired they were and still are mere imitations and not worthy to wear the shirt but hey “we’re on £50k a week so we don’t really care!”. Amazing when you think the likes of Bobby P and Kolo were on a mere £23k and £18 each respectively in their final years with us. Oh My God. Stan, Ivan, Hill-Wood an Mr Wenger what have you done with our beloved Football Club? Afternoon Chaps.

  • prime

    yes i’m going Tottz. hope they can shut me up.

  • lance

    Today’s Board meeting is likely to be the most critical in the Club’s recent history, perhaps the most critical in its entire history: its viability as a major football club is at stake. How decisive will Stanley be? The AST concluded that elimination from CL will mean a nett loss of £25m (offset this year by real estate sales) unless there is a reduction in costs (i.e. wages), a hike in ticket prices and/or player sales. Because of high-wage contracts, players are difficult to move on, the only significant sale would be RVP and raised prices would meet real resistance from fans. Two years of £25m losses would mean failure to meet FFP rules, and without a European presence the sponsorship deals, etc that come up shortly will fetch a lot less money. In other words the ship will sink if nothing is done. So what are Stanley’s options? Well, he could put in £100m of his own money to revemp the squad. Or he could sell out to Alisher – and probably lose a packet. Or he could sell out the bulk of his holding to him but keep, say, a 20% stake and a seat on the Board. Or he could try to find a sheikh to buy his holding. On balance I think the third option is the most likely. But with Stanley, who knows? And who knows if Alisher is willing to show him any mercy.

  • eric

    Since moving to Ashburton Grove, the number of truly exhilarating games has been the exception, rather than the norm. Following the grand opening, which those present will surely never forget, there have been few occasions bearing witness to a truly vibrant atmosphere. Victories over Barcelona, Manchester United, Chelsea, Spurs, Villarreal and the dual humiliation of Blackburn Rovers stand out. Individual moments including Eduardo’s class in a 5 – 1 victory against Shakhtar Donetsk, the long-overdue unveiling of the replica clock, and the parade of legends prior to this season’s Everton game equally bring the joy of football folklore. What other games or moments are there? Have a think… and then trot off the encyclopaedia of Highbury highs. On compassionate grounds, I have not considered here the liturgy of despair which we have intermittently suffered at home post-2006.

    The stadium-related debt, prolonged severe recession and introduction of petrodollars have all contributed to a gross distortion of the anticipated benefits of our brave new world. In some ways, reality has now once more been restored – the only statue depicting a current legend being that of Arsène Wenger. Sadly, there has been an increasing need for it to be Teflon-coated and neither he, nor an ever-inaccessible Board, seem moved to make changes. It doesn’t actually matter who is refusing to spend – it is ultimately a collective decision, which I believe further sullies the manager’s legacy with each passing game. Citing Rangers or Leeds United as the antithesis is entirely disingenuous. We have considerable means: let’s operate sensibly within them, rather than insisting on a “bargain basement” culture. Largely, it isn’t working.

    So Spurs are next up. I suspect that, as we file out after an ugly afternoon, the image of Thierry Henry celebrating a legendary goal will evoke more wistful reflection. Too many times we have been assured of a reaction following an abject surrender, and too many times there has been more of the same. That said, what we, as fans, have to do is to remember “The Arsenal Way”.

    It was ironic in the extreme to hear Spurs’ fans booing John Terry, in relation to allegations made about him. These are the same fans who sang with gusto songs about Emmanuel Adebayor’s parents. Irrefutably, we have not been by any means beyond reproach since his appearance down the other end of the Seven Sisters Road. Since we are unlikely as a Club to show much class on the pitch, let us control what we can and not indulge in disgusting behaviour of our own. Things are bad enough.

  • Leroy

    Okay, enough is enough. I was concerned back then at how much Chelsea would be able to spend in the January sales, as I saw with some ease that we wouldn’t be buying anyone of any note in that transfer window. Given that the only major signing that Chelsea made was Gary Cahill, I don’t really see a lot to fear from them in the closing months of the season. I can easily see the scenario developing that I predicted back in November where we do in fact finish below our North London rivals for the first time in what feels like centuries, but still finish the season back in the ‘holy grail’ of next season’s Champions League.

    Many of us Gooners seem to view this as a failure, but, in reality, we only feel that way because Spurs are the team most likely to finish above us in third, and not Chelsea. It is almost as though we as fans can accept finishing fourth but not if it means that Spurs end up above us in the pecking order. Why is this the case, as surely Chelsea have been a far bigger threat to us as a club over the past 15 years or so?

    In reality, this season has seen Spurs loan in a striker they probably couldn’t afford to buy, not play in the Champions League at all, and put out reserve team sides in all other competitions. They have also been lucky with minimal injuries to key players, in my opinion. Next season, they will have to contend with combining Champions League football with the league campaign, and might well lose their current number-one striker and their manager. If they are still sitting ten points clear of us this time next season, then hats off to them.

    Most Gooners seem to feel very negative about the game on Sunday, but, in reality, we will be favourites to win the game. We are at home, where we have managed to win eight times out of a possible 12. That is a win ratio of 67%, compared to Spurs away-win ratio of just 50%. Our home goal-difference is plus 15 whereas their away goal difference is plus five. The highest team that Spurs have beaten away from home this season is Norwich, who currently sit in eighth position in the league table, and the last time Spurs played away from home they failed to beat Stevenage.

    I am not for one second trying to say that Spurs are a poor side; they quite clearly are not. They deserve to be well ahead of us in the table as things stand, and will almost certainly stay there no matter what happens on Sunday afternoon. We are at home, though, and all the stats point to the fact that they will do well to leave our place with all three points. If we could manage to turn them over and narrow the deficit to seven points, then who knows what the future may hold, as they have Man Utd next up in the league and three points there is no certainty either.

    The main subject of importance though has to be our ability to qualify for next season’s Champions League, and fourth will do as far as that is concerned. Chelsea have three very winnable games coming up next in the league, so we need to make sure we take a minimum of five points from our next three tricky-looking league encounters. If we can get the next three games out the way, and not be more than two points behind Chelsea, then we have to have every chance of getting fourth by the end of the season. We simply can’t afford to lose any more ground on them than that, so a minimum of a point on Sunday, the same at Anfield and a home win against Newcastle should suffice for us to stay well in touch.

    If we do manage to finish fourth, then, as annoying as it sounds, we would have to see it as something of a successful season, even though the trophy-hunt goes on for yet another year. With the way last summer was handled in the transfer market, and combining this with the early-season results, Champions League qualification looked a long way off at that time. We should remember that some people on this very website back in September were seriously suggesting the real possibility of our facing some kind of relegation battle. This was embarrassing stuff for me to read at the time, but each person has their own opinion to air, I guess.

    The recent defeats and poor performances have rather luckily come mainly in cup competitions, so the ‘trophy’ of fourth is still very much up for grabs for us this season. Let us therefore not get too hot under the collar too soon. I feel if we can grab this spot and learn from the glaring mistakes in the transfer market that have been made over the past 12 months or so, we can possibly come out of this season in a stronger position than we started it. Get Jack back to full fitness, sign some much-needed quality in the summer, and move on with our stature of being an elite club still intact. Failure to finish fourth could see the few remaining quality players we have at our disposal looking to leave, and this would certainly impact our ability to bring in the much-needed quality in the summer; this scenario does not bear thinking about for me.

    We need therefore to stay together and get behind the team as much as possible in games like Sunday. We, as fans, do sometimes play a part in making the games at home tenser than they need to be, as the negativity from the stands seems to transmit itself too easily onto the field of play and the team becomes more stifled as a result. Surely this is the last thing that we should want to see happening, especially when it hinders our own team’s chances of beating a Spurs side including none other than Emmanuel Adebayor.

  • eric